September 9, 2002

9/9/02 Toulouse

Meeting my cousin for the first time

It felt good to sleep in this morning. Woke up to sun shinning into the windows with a refreshing wind blowing the curtains.

Cindy had cleared most of her day so we could spend it together. After the quiet city streets of Salas, this bustling metropolis was sort of an overload to my senses. As far as history goes about Toulouse, I couldn't be in more capable hands. Cindy has finished work on her PhD in Medieval History and hopes to have her dissertation completed next year. Everywhere we went, history towered over us. We went to see the Basilica of Saint Sermin. It is the largest Romanesque church in France. The walls had to be at least five feet thick with a ceiling high overhead. The whole place had a heavy, massive feel to it. In many places you could still see how all the surfaces must have been painted. Another place we went was the Convent Church of the Jacobians with it's seven massive columns down the middle and it's huge, long, stained glass windows.

We had a relaxing lunch in the park as clouds and sunlight battled overhead for dominion of the sky. I am enjoying talking to Cindy, not only because she's family and speaks English, but we both have similar views about social issues, politics and health. She lives in a wonderfully small, walk-up apartment with her cat, Sarah. To make ends meet, she teaches English. Tonight we went out with a bunch of her English teaching friends from Canada and Britain for great pizza.

My cousin Cindi

Back at the apartment, I stopped talking long enough to write in my journal while Cindy did some Buddhist meditation.